Only projects that have received ethical approval from Sangath’s IRB are permitted to be executed. The board meets four times a year with dates scheduled at least two months in advance.
The secretary receives proposals for approval at least two weeks before the meetings according to a prescribed format (Annexure V). S/he circulates them to all members at least 10 days before the meeting, during which applicants or their representatives make a presentation. All queries of the IRB committee must be clarified during the meeting. The board can then approve the proposal or ask for suggestions and recommendations to be incorporated before ethical clearance is granted. The chairperson later grants formal approval (Annexure V C).
Any major change in the protocol of an ongoing project following ethical approval will invite the need for fresh approval. If, for example, a particular project decided to offer incentives to participants after the original proposal was submitted and approved, it will need to seek permission from the IRB for that particular addition. Any adverse events that may occur during research along with action taken must also be reported to the IRB.